Ernie Watts

The Sovereign of the Saxophone

Ernie Watts is a Grammy Award winning American jazz and rhythm and blues musician. He plays saxophone and is best known for his work with Charlie Haden‘s Quartet West. He has also toured with The Rolling Stones, joining them on their 1981 tour and also appearing with them in the 1982 film Let’s Spend the Night Together.

Watts was born in Norfolk, Virginia. He began playing saxophone at thirteen and later attended the Berklee College of Music on a Downbeat scholarship, after a brief period at West Chester University. He toured with Buddy Rich in the mid-1960s, occupying one of the alto saxophone chairs, with Lou Marini occupying the other.

He also was a featured soloist on many of Marvin Gaye‘s original albums during the 1970s, as well as on countless other pop and R&B sessions during 25 years as a first-call musician in the studios of L.A. He has won two Grammy Awards as an instrumentalist.

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